Classic Computer Magazine Archive Article from Compute! magazine

Atari Self-Loading Tapes
I have tried to load a machine language cassette tape by holding down the START button while turning the machine on, waiting for the beep, and hitting RETURN. The program starts loading into the machine, but I get a BOOT ERROR message. Why? What is the proper way to do this?
Geoffrey C. Bennett

Two possibilities exist. The most obvious explanation is that your tape is defective. But it is more likely that you have a disk drive attached and turned on. After the tape is successfully loaded, the Atari then tries to boot the disk drive. With no disk in the drive, you get the BOOT ERROR. Turn off the drive or disconnect it when you load a boot tape.
    Also, many machine language programs on boot tapes won't work with the BASIC cartridge plugged in. Try removing BASIC before loading the tape into Atari 400, 800, and 1200XL computers. On a 600XL or 800XL, you can disable the built-in BASIC by holding down the OPTION button. (Therefore, to auto-boot with a 600XL or 800XL, you would simultaneously hold down OPTION and START while switching on the computer.)